Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

I’m a big fan of the unknown stories in the Bible.  You know the ones I mean, those stories you hear in Sunday school but never really pay attention to.  Some you may never even hear in your lifetime until you end up being sucked into a crazy blog about grace and you ask yourself, is that story really in the Bible?  I get excited at the prospect of learning something new from the stories I never knew existed or just never really paid attention to.

One such story is that of Mary and Martha.  Jesus came to Mary and Martha’s town and Martha invited Jesus over for dinner.  I picture it in a modern day setting where Jesus is hanging out in the recliner talking about his passions, telling stories of his travels, and laughing at his favorite memories.  There’s Mary, sitting on the couch wide eyed, listening to all Jesus has to say and enjoying time with him.

Martha, however, is back in the kitchen, slaving over the stove, making sure the table is set with the good plates, and working on her famous lasagna.  All the while, grumbling that Mary isn’t in there helping her.  It doesn’t take her long before she decides to make her frustration know. 

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.”

I can imagine the look on Jesus’s face, I’ve seen it in my mind many times.  He shakes his head, smiles, and responds in a voice that just puts you at ease while simultaneously reminding you how silly you are.

“Martha, chill out, stop worrying and just enjoy being with me like Mary is.”

How often in our own lives do we become so distracted by doing things to prepare for Jesus that we miss out on being with him?  We want to do the right things, be the right influences, and win the right people to him.  Jesus longs for us to rest in him, hang out with him, and take in all that he pours out onto us.  He doesn’t want us to do things to earn his praise; we already have it, we just have to sit down with him and take it in!

Interestingly enough this is the same Mary we read about earlier in Luke who comes to Jesus and cries at his feet, pouring expensive perfume on him, and wiping it up with her hair.  Jesus declares her forgiven and she walks away forever changed.  The next time we see her it’s here in the living room with Jesus, taking in all that she can from him.  Now that, is what I call experiencing grace!

*Luke 10:38-42 (Mary and Martha)
*Luke 7:36-50 (Mary Meets Jesus)

*John 11:2 (Mary is Anointer of Jesus)

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